Recommend a Washer for me?

tinanMarch 25, 2012

We will soon be buying a new washer/dryer, as we are selling our condo and leaving the LG washer/dryer with it as part of the sale. Our new place has laundry hookup on the second floor (near bedrooms) and there is space for side by side, though we could stack if we wanted to. I can't decide what type or brand of washer to get!

Here's what I like about the LGs:

- have worked with no repairs/issues for 2 years

Dislikes:

- clothes do not get and clean as previous old school washers, however we also have hard water here and that makes a huge impact

- necessity of keeping front door open to avoid mold with washer right at the top of the staircase - ugly and in the way

What I want in a new machine:

-price around or under $800

-do not need anything fancy like steam etc we wear mostly cotton easy care clothes and wash warm/cold rinse

- low noise/vibration

- gets clothes clean

- minimal risk of a water leak (upstairs not in a garage!)

What would you recommend? I was thinking of sticking with LG and maybe going up a model to look for an on board heater, though it is hard to figure out which washers have this feature it's not always in the descriptions/specs. I have heard mixed things on Samsung, and I will never buy another Whirlpool appliance after our horrible dishwasher.

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dave1812

samsung 520 on sale cost me $850 about 6 months ago (pacific sales). works like a champ. very little vibration. even greasy rags from car cleaning, come out spotless. I'm sure there are other brands that work, but it's the only FL I own. I'm coming from an old Maytag (before they started making lousy maytag washers). the maytag didn't clean even 1/2 as well. I couldn't be happier with the results of the Sammy. and to get it for $850 is icing on the cake.

it's large enough to do our biggest king comforters. the matching dryer is 7 cubic feet, which I also have.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:36PM
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herring_maven

tinan: When the Samsung WF419xx washing machine has finished washing a load (and assuming that you have set "Signal On"), it plays the theme from the fourth movement of the Quintet in A Major for Piano and Strings, "The Trout," by Franz Schubert. (Also, incidentally, it cleans clothes very well, and has very low vibration in operation.)

What more would you need to know?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:40PM
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tinan

How long have you had your Samsungs? I read some reviews where people had trouble with the washer not spinning.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:40PM
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dreamgarden

Whatever you buy, do NOT get a Whirlpool Cabrio washer.

It does not clean, it chews holes in your clothes and spins your (unclean) clothes so hard that they look like ropes when they are done. Wrinkles galore.

The dryer seems to be ok.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:18AM
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tinan

dreamgarden - thanks - I will NEVER buy another Whirlpool product. OUr condo came with Whirlpool "Gold" appliances and the dishwasher blew a motherboard 2 months out of the crummy 1 year warranty. Part cost $250, service $150 = cost of dishwasher new. I called Whirlpool and even wrote a letter of complaint, they didn't even offer to send me a coupon or something.

Also I found out that many of the other dishwashers - Maytag, Kitchenaid are made by Whirlpool too now and they all have motherboard issues.

We replaced that crap with a Bosch which is better in so many ways! So there is no danger of me ever buying their garbage again, just on principal.

I think the Samsung or LGs will be my choice maybe I'll wait and see what comes on sale :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:42PM
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herring_maven

tinan: "How long have you had your Samsungs? I read some reviews where people had trouble with the washer not spinning."

We've had ours for ten months now. Our three previous washing machines lasted, respectively, 34 years, 23 years, and 16 years; the last of the three did not fail, but was beginning to exhibit, through noise, impending difficulty in the main bearing. Before purchase of the Samsung, we did some deep research and determined that many or most of those who had reported problems with Samsungs (1) had problems that could be traced to the control electronics, not to the mechanics, and (2) lived in areas that had "dirty" electric power. We added the cost of a good surge/spike protector to the price of our washing machine, connected the washer through the protector, and have had no problems yet.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:13PM
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knot2fast

Are you limiting the search to around $800 for the pair or the washer only?

The requirements you list would lead the traditional agitator top loading washing machines to the front of the list.

Traditional top loaders will typically have fewer cycles, but it sounds like you use the basic Regular and Permanent Press cycles for the most part anyway. Front loaders are usually much quieter during the wash cycle, but the high spin speed makes them much more susceptible to vibration. (Especially on the 2nd floor.) (Especially, especially on pedestals). I've never known an owner of a front loader that didn't battle door mold unless the door was left open between uses. There are LOTS of front loader owners here and I'm sure they'll chime in if they're able to leave the door closed without mold issues.

I have a Speed Queen washer (AWN542) and dryer (ADG4BR) I like very much. I've had them less than a year, so it's too early to judge their long term reliability. They do have a 3-year "bumper to bumper" warranty. They have a 5-year warranty on the cabinet and motor, a 10-year warranty on the transmission, and a lifetime warranty on the stainless tub and outer tub. They are decidedly old school, so they're not for everyone.

The Speed Queen top loading washers and dryers don't have computer boards. They're probably the last quality manufacturer to use electromechanical timers to control the cycles. They use all metal gears in the transmission. I'm amazed how well balanced they spin, even with very small loads. Water in my area isn't especially expensive, scarce, or hard. Using a good quality detergent, my results are excellent. Like you, most of my wash loads are cottons and poly/cottons. I have gas water heater and a gas dryer, so they're quite economical to operate.

The GardenWeb forum is heavily tilted toward front loading washers, especially the high end ones. That's understandable. Some of them have quite amazing technology and features. At the high end, front loaders command big price. I'm particular about getting clean clothes, especially whites, but for the most part, I just want a solid machine that will last 20 years. There are more exciting things for me to spend money on.

There is a forum at automaticwasher.org that tilts a bit more toward top loaders. There's a guy who even posts videos of his Speed Queen wash cycles. I included the link to one below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Speed Queen wash cycle video

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 8:59PM
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tinan

knot2fast, I had heard good things about the Speed Queens, but my main concern about TL is the risk of overflow. Maybe it's just because I've had some really old crappy machines in the past but every TL I have had overflowed at some point, that would be a disaster! Yes we can put in a catch basin but that won't necessarily get all the water if it overflows fast or stops up.

Is there any overflow protection on the SQs? With FL you don't ever get that much water in the machine to start with, and the system is sealed.

In the new place we should be able to leave the door ajar on a FL it's in our current home that the washer is at the top of the stairs and gets in the way.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:54PM
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knot2fast

Without a doubt, any full top loader washing machine will contain much more water than a front load machine. I'd very much hate to see the damage from a total tub failure. I'm sure it's rare, but not impossible.

Our washer and dryer are on the first floor with a finished basement below. We did have an "overflow" once but we were fortunate to catch it quickly limit the damage. One of us (ahem..., not me) tried to put a puffy winter coat in the washer. As the water level rose, the coat floated to the top and part of it was sticking up above the drum. That part sticking up happened to be right where the water was entering the tub and it deflected the water outside the tub. The water never shut off because the water wasn't entering the tub completing the fill. It was a clear (bonehead) operator error.

I think the highest risk of water damage is from a failed supply hose. That could happen for any type of washer and could run until someone shuts it off manually. Yikes. We shut off the water supply at the wall when we leave for vacation, but we don't shut it off between uses. It's a good idea to use good quality hoses and replace them every 5 years or so. It's cheap insurance.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:08PM
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knot2fast

I forgot to answer one of your questions. As far as I know the Speed Queen doesn't have any particular protection against overflow. There's no extra tub, for instance. The SQ does use a mechanical pressure switch to control the water level and it might have some fail-safe mode to absolutely never let the water fill beyond a particular point, but I don't know. Besides, it's a part that could fail as well.

If you're prone to washing machine overflows and you don't have (or want) a drain pan installed under the washer, I'd feel more comfortable with a front load machine for the reasons you listed. I'd balance that concern with the location of location of the laundry room relative to the closest load-bearing wall for the stiffest part of the floor possible. You probably wouldn't like the vibration of a front load machine sitting on a 20-foot floor span, 10 feet from the supported edge. Pedestals can exacerbate the vibration issues, so you might consider trying it without them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:28PM
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manitobasky

FL are not any less likely to over flow then TL, they are not sealed. If the fill valves fail or the pressure switch fails your floor is going to get wet it just a matter of time.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:20AM
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fahrenheit_451

@tinan, We replaced that crap with a Bosch which is better in so many ways!Take a look at what Bosch is calling "new" on their website: 24" Compact Washer Axxis One - White WAE20060UC. It comes with a heater and when street priced is available for around your $800 price point. It's stackable and has a heater element capable of producing water up to 161ð F. You can see how these units stack and sit side-by-side in Bosch's PDF brochure on pages 92 and 93: Bosch Home Appliances

I have no affiliation with Bosch nor do I own said products.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:18PM
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tinan

ManitobaSky, Toploads often overflow due to things like the above posting - a buoyant article floats to the top and gets wrapped around the tub or clogs the outflow valve. In our FL machines there is far less volume of water in the machine at any time and therefore less potential for a massive flood.

We have had 2 major TL overflows in the past one was in a garage and one on a back porch - the volume of water that poured out in a few seconds was so much that it gushed everywhere - no way a little pan underneath would catch most of that. It was a huge mess and if those had been indoors and upstairs it would have been a LOT of damage.

With a FL the volume of water that could in theory escape is much more likely to be contained with an overflow pan (which we will of course install). So I may be completely wrong but it does seem safer from a flood point of view.

We don't have any choice where the W/D goes in the new condo, there is no garage and the hookup is in a closet upstairs. In our current condo we have a similar setup with a tiny closet stacked W/D and there is an overflow pan just in case. So flooding remains my #1 concern - then effective washing, noise etc.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:08PM
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wildchild

I've had my Samsung for 4+ years now. Previously had a Fridgedaire entry level F/L to see if I liked them. Piece of crap but it did make me a convert to FLers.

I'm not a matchy-matchy person when it comes to tools. For me appliances are tools. They are not decorations. Still using my 12 year old dryer. Clothes dryers last forever so I wouldn't invest in a matching one unless I found an exceptionally good deal. As long as the dryer has a capacity to fit your washer's largest load I would go for whatever one is suitable to meet your needs which for most thinking people is just to dry clothes.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:59PM
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